A video surfaced earlier this week of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke performing with his awfully named band “Headless Chickens” in 1989. It’s goofy and the sound isn’t great, but it’s still a fun peek at baby Thom before Radiohead ever conquered the rock world with a slew of revered albums.
Just like it’s fun to unearth a box of your girlfriend’s old cheerleading photos or some old snapshots of your boyfriend’s ’90s Buzz Lightyear Halloween costume, it’s stupidly entertaining to seek out what your favorite artists looked and sounded like before they hit it big. That exact hobby is pretty much what the Internet is for, if we’re being real. And the smart musicians release this stuff on their own terms before their rabid superfans dig it up on their own.
Or we just find old clips on YouTube. Either way works. Here’s a sampling of our favorite finds.
1. Katy Perry as Katy Hudson in 2002
Ah yes, Katy Hudson — not to be confused with Kate Hudson, which is basically what happened to Katy Perry early in her career as a Christian singer. Six years (and an image revamp) later, we met her via “I Kissed A Girl,” which is just a bit different from the song above.
2. Kanye West as a babyface in 2002
Already a storied producer but still very much behind the scenes, Yeezy spoke at length with MTV in 2002 about his master plan for taking over hip-hop. Worked out pretty well, we’d say.
3. Lana Del Rey as Lizzy Grant in 2006
Long before “Honeymoon” or even “Video Games,” Lana was Lizzy, a young singer/songwriter fixing to break the big time. Amazing how much can change in nine years.
4. Ariana Grande singing the National Anthem in 2002
AG, age 8, at a Florida Panthers-Chicago Blackhawks hockey game, no less! She’s used to this gig by now.
5. Lorde as a 12-year-old rock goddess in 2009
Before “Royals,” Ella “Lorde” Yelich-O’Connor was the leader of a seven-piece school band in New Zealand? Actually pretty unsurprising.
6. Lady Gaga on MTV’s “Boiling Points” in 2005
This one is TOO GOOD not to share. Stefani Germanotta once had her patience tested to the max on MTV’s hidden camera show. She did indeed boil, which means she left without the money. Unfortunate.
7. Bruno Mars as Pauly Shore’s pal in 1992
Back when Bruno was certifiably “The World’s Youngest Elvis Impersonator.” More proof here and here, because these credentials need to be explored.
8. Drake on “Degrassi” in 2006
OK yeah, Drake’s “Degrassi” stint is widely known. So how about…
9. Drake at his bar mitzvah in 1999
If you haven’t seen the 6 God pumping his arms in some kind of half-Locomotion incarnation, what are you even doing with your life?
Which ones did we miss? What’s YOUR favorite pre-fame celeb snapshot?